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Archive for September 2009

Button nears championship

Jenson Button scored precious points in the Singapore night Grand Prix as as he finished fifth and more importantly ahead of his nearest rival and team-mate Rubens Barrichello.

The race was won by Lewis Hamilton who is out of the driver's championship contention and who was joined on the podium by Toyota's Timo Glock and last year's winner Fernando Alonso.

Sebastian Vettel looked set for second position but a drive through penalty meant that he dropped to fifth just ahead of Button.

For Vettel to win the championship he will need to win the remaining three races and expect Button to score less than five points but there is also Barrichello in the mix.

Barrichello looked set to finish ahead of Button for most of the race but he ended up finishing sixth and seventh place went to McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen.

BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica got the last points place and notably both Ferrari drivers failed to score points.

Kimi Raikkonen could only finish tenth and Giancarlo Fisichella was further back in 13th and now he has three races left in order to score a point for Ferrari.

It wasn't a good night for Mark Webber as he did not finish the race retiring after 45 laps. With that crash also went the championship challenge.

The next race will be the Japanese grand prix and if results go Button's way he could wrap the championship at Suzuka.

Henin to make a comeback

Justine Henin will make a comeback next year at the Australian Open after announcing that she will be coming out of retirement.

This comes after Kim Clijsters won the just ended US Open after having been in retirement for more than two years.

I think this will be good for women's tennis but maybe not so good for world number one Dinara Safina who has so far failed to win a grand slam.

This year has also seen the comeback of Maria Sharapova from injury and so I think the Australia Open will be very competitive and I am looking forward to that.

Canadian race back as S Korean comes in

So according to the 2010 F1 calendar, the Canadian Grand Prix will make a comeback whilst South Korea will be added to the calendar.

There was no race in North America this season and so its good to see the Canadian Grand Prix back on the calendar.

South Korea will be the latest country to join the fray with a race slotted towards the end of the end of the season.

Other interesting changes will see Melbourne host the second race and not the usual first race of the season.

The first race will now be at Sepang and Melbourne's race will now be after Europe has changed to summer time.

Another change from this year will see Brazil host the last race of the season again. This year Brazil has got the second from last race whilst the Abu Dhabi grand prix will close the season.

England avoid series whitewash

At last England won a match and avoided a series whitewash after beating Australia by four wickets in the last match of the series.

I could see that England were so determined to avoid a series whitewash and when they won the toss it was not surprising to see them decide to field so that they could chase whatever total the tourists got.

For Australia only captain Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey gave some resistance when the captain scored 53 runs and Hussey just missed half a century by one run.

I hope that next time there will be a triangular series instead of an unending seven match series. If there is no available third team then a five match series is good enough.

The next stop for both teams will be the ICC Champions Trophy being hosted by South Africa. I t think it is here where Australia's strength will be tested while England players have a chance to quickly redeem themselves after the 6-1 loss.

Whitewash looming for England

The one day international series between England and Australia comes to an end on Sunday with England trying hoping to win to avoid a series whitewash.

England has lost the first six matches and at Riverside it must com out with a win or it will be a whitewash and that will be very embarrassing especially a whitewash over seven matches.

I always thought that this one day series was rather too long with seven matches and I haven't been following the series very closely but I will eagerly follow the last one.

Australia lost the Ashes series earlier and a complete whitewash will give the team lots of confidence going into ICC Champions Trophy to be played in South Africa starting next week.

I think England will be hoping for better luck in that same tournament but given the way they have played against Australia a miracle is needed to come up with a decent result. Hope I am wrong.

Del Potro stuns Federer

Juan Martin del Potro won his first Grand Slam after beating world number one Roger Federer in five sets.

Before this match I had thought that Federer was going to extend his grand slam wins to 16 but Del Potro carried over from his semi-final win over Rafael Nadal to stop Federer's run of wins at Flushing Meadows.

I also think that Del Potro maintained throughout and avoided the Andy Roddick's mistakes at Wimbledon where he could also have beaten Federer.

I think its good to see a player reach his first grand slam, overcome the nerves and go on and win it.

I also think that despite losing the final, Federer has played so well in this tournament to stamp his authority as world number one and I am sure he will be able to extend his number of grand slam wins beyond 15.

But for now Del Potro should celebrate for pulling an unlikely win and stop a player who had not lost in six years at Flushing Meadows. I hope he will go ahead and more grand slam titles.

Clijsters wins US Open

Kim Clijsters has won the US Open final after beating Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.

This is a great result considering the fact that Clijsters is coming out of retirement just last month.

Also on her way to the final, she beat both Venus and Serena Williams and I think that shows she is in top form.

Meanwhile in the men's final, Roger Federer will fight it out against Juan Martin del Potro as Federer goes for his 16th grand slam title and sixth straight US Open title.

Del Potro easily beat former world number one Rafael Nadal in straight sets to reach his first grand slam final.

Federer on the other hand beat Novak Djokovic in his semi and I think he will win once again this year.

Barrichello gets another win

After waiting for five years without a win, Rubens Barrichello won ths Italian Grand Prix ahead of his team-mate Jenson Button.

The win means that Barrichello now trails Button by just 14 points with only four races remaining.

The race saw Brawn GP also return to the top positions that became very familiar at the start of the season but this time with Button in second position.

In third place was Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen but this came after Lewis Hamilton crushed on the final lap.

Behind Raikkonen was Force India's Adrian Sutil who I think could have done better had his race went on smoothly.

Former champion Fernando Alonso finished in fifth just ahead of McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen.

The last two points places went to Nick Heidfeld and Sebastian Vettel whose challenge for the title seems to be fading.

New Ferrari driver Giancarlo Fisichella could only finish ninth after starting 14th on the grid. I think his replacement at Force India Vitantonio Liuzzi would have finished ahead of him had he not retired from the race.

Mark Webber could not even complete a single lap after crushing out during the first lap. So in the end Red Bull had to settle for a single point.

The next race will the night race in Singapore.

Clijsters march continues

Kim Clijsters beat Li Na in straight sets in the US Open and will now face Serena Williams in the semis.

After beating Venus Williams earlier on, Clijsters has continued her march to the semis by easily beating Na in straight sets and now faces the challenge of playing defending champion Williams in the semis.

Another interesting result saw second seed Andy Murray dumped out of the Flushing Meadows by Marin Cilic.

I had thought that Murray was going to go further than that especially after having had a remarkable year so far but Cilic totally outplayed him.

Reaching the quarters though will be world number three Rafael Nadal who beat Gael Monfils despite dropping the first set.

Fernando Gonzalez now awaits Nadal in the quarter-finals while Cilic will play Juan Martin del Potro.

Ponting opts out of Twenty20

Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting this week announced that he was retiring from international Twenty20.

The reason given is that he wants to prolong his cricket career and so I think that will give Michael Clarke a chance to captain one Australian side.

This retirement is just for international cricket and so Ponting will still play for Tasmania and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

I think this is a very good chance for the other Australian cricketers to step up and cover the gap left by Ponting.

I am bit surprised he retired from Twenty20 because there doesn't seem to be a lot of Twenty20 matches but a lot of one-dayers like the seven match series currently going on in India.

Liuzzi replaces Fisichella

Force India have replaced Giancarlo Fisichella with Vitantonio Liuzzi for the last five races of the season.

After Fisichella won the maiden pole for Force India and then finished second in the race to get the first points for his team, he left for Ferrari to replace Luca Badoer.

I think it would have been good for Fisichella to stay and try to get more points for Force India but his departure has created a seat for Liuzzi.

I am keen to see how Adrian Sutil and Luizzi will perform this weekend at Monza because their car looks good and they could get some points for Force India.

Also now that Fisichella is with Ferrari, I am keen to see how he races especially after driving so superbly at Spa and pushing Kimi Raikkonen all the way to the finish.

Safina, Roddick knocked out

World number one Dinara Safina will have to wait for the Australian Open in January for her maiden Grand Slam title after she was knocked out of the US Open.

Safina who just made it to the third round at Flushing Meadows after struggling through the first two rounds lost in three sets to Petra Kvitova.

Also going out is Maria Sharapova who lost in three sets to unseeded Melanie Oudin. I thought Sharapova was going to make it to at least the second week but that did not happen.

In the men's draw Lleyton Hewitt lost once again to Roger Federer in four sets. After winning the first set I thought Hewitt was at least going to force the match to five sets but the world number one came firing back to win the last two sets.

Going out also in the third round is Andy Roddick who lost in five sets to John Isner. After reaching the final at Wimbledon, I thought Roddick had a good chance of reaching the latter stages at Flushing Meadows but he will have to try again next year.

I am keen to see how Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal will fare at the US Open. I still think Federer will go all the way and win it again but after today's upsets you just never know.